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Two Super Easy and Fast Ways To Peel Garlic

by Spicie Foodie on September 10, 2013

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

Learning a few kitchen basics and tricks can mean everything from time saved, a better meal cooked, and confidence for the home cook. Several years ago when I made the jump from complete kitchen avoidance to novice, I made sure that along the way I picked up knowledge that would keep me interested and gave me confidence — or at least gave the impression that I knew what I was doing.

It might seem silly to some but back in my early culinary days peeling garlic is something I tried to avoid. Whenever I could I would substitute granulated garlic for fresh. But as many of you know the results aren’t always the same and fresh garlic can really transform a dish to a new level. So I gave in and kept on trying to find ways of removing that annoying skin covering from each individual clove of garlic. It wasn’t always pretty but alas I found two super easy and fast ways to peel garlic. Today I want to share them with you in hopes that they’ll save you time in the kitchen.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

The first thing I learned is to never, ever rinse the cloves nor attempt to peel them with wet or damp hands. This only makes the skin stick to your fingers and the garlic which will make it nearly impossible to peel. You can rinse the cloves after they have been peeled if desired. The second thing I learned is that the fresher the bulb the damper the skin and the more it will stick to the cloves. So if you can allow the skin to dry out a bit longer before using.

 

First Technique

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

I like to cut off the bottom of each clove as you see in the photos above. I feel that this makes the process easier and also it is a segment I cut away after peeling anyways. So first cutoff that part.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

On the left side photo you’ll see that part of the skin has already begun to come off, but we are going to help it a bit further. Next lay the flat side of your knife on top of the garlic clove. Gently but firm press down until it flattens, like in the right side photo.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

Now simply pick up the crushed garlic clove and remove the skin, it will slide right off. Since we crushed the garlic it can now be chopped, sliced or minced as desired.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

Sometimes I use the large pieces as they are after crushing and removing the skin. Other times I’ll roughly chopped or finely mince. It’s up to you and what the recipe requires.

 

Second Technique

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

The second technique also begins by chopping off that little bottom part of the garlic clove. Again, it’s optional but I like to do it.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

For this technique you’ll need a garlic press or crusher. Simply put the garlic clove with the skin still attached inside the press and squeeze until you see it come out the little holes. Be careful because the garlic juice can squirt out.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

Now open the press and remove the remaining skin from inside. See it comes out in one piece!

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

You can open or separate the skin and see that nearly all of the garlic has been squeezed out. If there are any remaining pieces just remove it and continue with the remaining garlic cloves.

Two Super Easy & Fast Ways To Peel Garlic by @SpicieFoodie | #garlic #kitcheninfo #kitchen101

There you have it, two super easy and fast ways to peel and mince garlic. In the photo above the top minced garlic is the one from the press, a smaller clove was used than the one done with the knife technique, and the bottom is the one done with the knife. I don’t prefer one to the other, it really depends on how much time I have and if I want to wash an additional tool. Both techniques are great and will surely save you more time than trying to peel every clove using your finger nails. If you are sensitive to garlic then I suggest you wear kitchen gloves. And if you want to take away the garlicky smell from your finger rub them with a little bit of lemon juice to tone down the scent.

 

How about you, what is your favorite way of peeling garlic?

 

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in How To Basics

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa September 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Great tips! It is also easier to peel the garlic if the skin is humid/wet (warm water bath)…

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Thank you Rosa! I haven’t tried that technique.

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3 Monique September 10, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I always cut off that end also:) i saw something interesting on a chef contest show in QC recently.. he put his cloves in a coved aluminium bowl and shook them..they all came out perfect..have not tried yet!

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4 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Really, great minds!:) That sounds interesting so I’ll have to look it up. Thanks Monique.

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5 Angie@Angie's Recipes September 10, 2013 at 4:03 PM

Thanks for the tips, Nancy. I have a garlic press which I hardly use…cutting is easier.

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6 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM

I too prefer the cutting method.

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7 Arthur in the Garden! September 10, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I use both techniques you use, too, but sometimes if the skins are loose I may just pull them off.

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8 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Yes, it’s great when you can do that and save some time.

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9 La Torontoise September 10, 2013 at 4:20 PM

A very clear explanation! You know, this is one of those things that are ‘tacit’ knowledge and are hard to explain to someone who has no experience in using garlic…

I’m a great fan of all things garlic:-)
In my cooking, I usually use the press; but if I’m in a friend’s house and there is no press, I use the knife as you demonstrated.

All the best!

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10 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Thanks, glad to hear it!:)

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11 Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies September 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM

Wow, I feel so stupid right now–I have a garlic press, but I always peel the garlic first! So all this time I could have been saving myself that step. Thank you!

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12 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

No, you shouldn’t Kiersten.:)

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13 Evelyne@cheapethniceatz September 10, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Thanks for the great tips on peeling garlic. I recently bought a whole bunch pre peeled and attempted to freeze them. We’ll see if it is a good idea too.

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14 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Wow, I had no idea you could buy it pre-peeled. Good luck and I hope you share what happens.

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15 Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Great tips, peeling garlic is one of my least favorite kitchen tasks ;).

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16 Spicie Foodie September 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM

Hehe, I think it is for many.:)

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17 Joanne T Ferguson September 11, 2013 at 1:30 AM

G’day Nancy and great hints and tips and love your photos today, true!
I recently got loaned a Thermomix, it peels about 40 gloves of garlic in seconds…so HOW excited was I and did not permeate to my hands too!
Other than that, I have recently learned via Cook Silvia Hart form South Australia to re-use garlic peels, top with oil in a glass jar for garlic infused oil, minimizing food wastage…
Cheers! Joanne

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18 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Wow, I have to look into that Thermomix — sounds great! Thanks for sharing the tip about the garlic peels, I had no idea.:)

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19 yummychunklet September 11, 2013 at 2:44 AM

Great tutorial!

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20 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Thanks!

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21 Ash-foodfashionparty September 11, 2013 at 3:34 AM

Great tip, I love peeling garlic by going at it with a knife , now my teen follow me and goes at it exactly like me..it scares me so much.

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22 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:06 PM

I would be nervous too, but I’m sure you’re there to keep an eye on things. Thanks Ash!:)

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23 easyfoodsmith September 11, 2013 at 7:47 AM

I usually use the first method of peeling garlic. However, my Mum always used to soak the garlic cloves in water for a few minutes and then peeling them would so easy peasy! :-)

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24 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

You know I always had a difficult time peeling them once they are wet. I’m going to have to try your Mum’s and Rosa’s method soon. Thanks for sharing!:)

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25 GourmetGetaways September 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

You make every image look so beautiful!
I never knew that learning to chop garlic could look so arty and clever. Great story too :)

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26 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:07 PM

Thank so much Julie:)

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27 nusrat2010 September 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

I learned the ‘smack hard with knife’ trick from my husband :) But I still pop over your blog just to fill up my senses with your warm, glowing, gorgeous photos.
Who wouldn’t stare at those lovely shots?
Love.

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28 Spicie Foodie September 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Thank you Nusrat! Your work is gorgeous and it’s a treat stopping by your space too.:)

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29 Meghan @ Spoonful of Flour September 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

Great tips, I once saw a similar demonstration on the Food Network and it is so helpful!

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30 Spicie Foodie September 12, 2013 at 1:14 AM

Thank you Meghan!

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31 john@kitchenriffs September 11, 2013 at 10:31 PM

I always use your first method – works like a charm. Don’t normally cut off that tip until the end, though – I should try your method. Thanks!

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32 Spicie Foodie September 12, 2013 at 1:15 AM

It really does, doesn’t it? Thanks John!

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33 Katie September 12, 2013 at 8:20 PM

You don’t have to be gentle…. Just give it a good whack, either with the flat of a knife or the heel of your hand. If you want it crushed further, whack it again. If it has a green center you should pull that out – it’s starting to sprout and sometimes can be bitter.

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34 Spicie Foodie September 12, 2013 at 11:57 PM

Yeah, it’s good for releasing stress isn’t it?:) Thanks for mentioning the green center as I forgot to.

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35 Juliana September 13, 2013 at 1:02 AM

I rather use the knife, in spite of buying different gadgets for garlic I still use the knife…less stuff to wash :)
Thanks for the tips Nancy and have a great weekend ahead!

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36 Spicie Foodie September 13, 2013 at 12:44 PM

Hehe, that’s the reason the knife wins over in my kitchen too. Thanks Juliana and you too have a lovely weekend.:)

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37 Ramona September 14, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Thank you for two versions. I hate peeling garlic. I am so lazy about it and I use it so much. Love your ceramic knife too. :)

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38 Spicie Foodie September 14, 2013 at 8:33 PM

My pleasure, thanks Ramona!

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39 mjskit September 16, 2013 at 4:45 AM

There is definitely nothing better than fresh garlic. I’ve always used method 1 and it works great! Great post!

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40 Spicie Foodie September 16, 2013 at 3:25 PM

Couldn’t agree more, MJ! Thanks:)

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